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List of gunboat and gunvessel classes of the Royal Navy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For gun-brigs see List of gun-brigs of the Royal Navy

This is a list of gunboat and gunvessel classes of the Royal Navy.

Steam gunboats

Wooden paddle gunboats (Indian service)

Wooden paddle gunboats (Great Lakes)

Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS <i>Toronto</i> USA 1834 Ex-merchantman Sir Charles Adam, built in 1834 in the USA and purchased by the Royal Navy on 7 July 1838. Sold in 1843
HMS <i>Experiment</i> Niagara Dock Company 1838 An ex-sailing ship, purchased on 21 July 1838 and converted to a paddle vessel. Sold in 1847 or 1848
HMS <i>Traveller</i> Niagara Dock Company 1838 Ex-merchant ship, purchased at Niagara on 30 April 1839 and sold in 1844
HMS <i>Montreal</i> Canada 1836 A two-masted schooner (may not have had an engine) purchased for use on Lake Erie on 18 October 1839. Sold 1848
HMS <i>Minos</i> Chippawa, Ontario June 1840 Sold to Mr Weston in March 1852
HMS <i>Sydenham</i> Montreal 1841 Purchased while building at Montreal in 1841. Served in the Mediterranean as a packet. Refitted and reboilered at Woolwich in 1843-44. Sold at Malta on 11 July 1846
HMS <i>Cherokee</i> Kingston Navy Yard, Ontario 22 September 1842 Sold to Messrs. Campbell, Forsyth, Yarwood & Gaskin on 30 October 1851
Magnet Hamilton, Canada 1846 The British Government made a part payment while during build, retaining the right to assume possession of the vessel on payment of the remaining portion. The right was relinquished in 1864
HMS <i>Canada</i> Purchased Unknown Purchased in 1847

Iron paddle gunboat (Great Lakes)

  • Mowhawk (1843)
Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS <i>Mowhawk</i> William Fairbairn & Company, Millwall 21 February 1843 Delivered in pieces to the Kingston Yard, Lake Ontario. Served on Lake Ontario and later on Lake Huron. Lengthened by 25 ft (7.6 m) in 1846. Sold to J F Parke on 21 June 1852

Iron paddle despatch vessels/gunboats

  • <i>Bann</i> class (1855)
Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS <i>Bann</i> J Scott Russell, Millwall 5 July 1856 Sold for breaking on 18 February 1873
HMS <i>Brune</i> J Scott Russell, Millwall 30 August 1856 Sold at Lagos on 19 May 1863

Wooden screw gunboats

  • Gleaner (or Pelter) class
    • <i>Pelter</i> <span class="nowrap">(1854)</span>
    • <i>Pincher</i> <span class="nowrap">(1854)</span>
    • <i>Badger</i> <span class="nowrap">(1854)</span>
    • <i>Snapper</i> <span class="nowrap">(1854)</span>
    • <i>Gleaner</i> <span class="nowrap">(1854)</span>
    • <i>Ruby</i> <span class="nowrap">(1854)</span>
  • Dapper class
    • <i>Lark</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Magpie</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Dapper</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Fancy</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • Grinder (1855)
    • <i>Jasper</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Hind</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Jackdaw</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Thistle</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Starling</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Snap</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Redwing</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Weazel</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Clinker</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Cracker</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Boxer</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Stork</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Skylark</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Biter</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Swinger</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
  • Albacore class (1855)
    • <i>Beaver</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Whiting</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Nightingale</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Violet</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Seagull</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Skipjack</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Sandfly</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Sheldrake</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Plover</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Tickler</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Banterer</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Bullfrog</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Bustard</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Carnation</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Charger</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Cockchafer</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Dove</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • Forward (1855)
    • <i>Grasshopper</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Hasty</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Herring</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Insolent</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Mayflower</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Staunch</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Goldfinch</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Goshawk</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Julia</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Louisa</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Bouncer</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Hyena</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Savage</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Wolf</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Griper</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Fervent</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Forester</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Spanker</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Traveller</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Thrasher</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Opossum</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Partridge</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Charon</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Haughty</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Leveret</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Mackerel</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Procris</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Shamrock</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Spey</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Tilbury</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Peacock</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Pheasant</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Primrose</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Pickle</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Prompt</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Porpoise</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Firm</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Flamer</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Fly</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • Sepoy (1856)
    • <i>Erne</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Spider</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Lively</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • Surly (1856)
    • <i>Swan</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Delight</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • Grappler (1856)
    • <i>Growler</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Parthian</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Quail</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Ripple</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Cochin</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Cherokee</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Camel</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Caroline</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Confounder</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Crocus</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Beacon</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Brave</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Bullfinch</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Redbreast</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Rose</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Blazer</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Rainbow</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Brazen</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Raven</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Rocket</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Hardy</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Havock</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Highlander</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • Albacore (1856)
    • <i>Amelia</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Foam</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Wave</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Magnet</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Manly</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Mastiff</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Mistletoe</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Earnest</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Escort</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
  • Cheerful class
    • <i>Cheerful</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Chub</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Daisy</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Dwarf</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Blossom</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Gadfly</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Gnat</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Garland</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Fidget</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Flirt</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Onyx</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Pert</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Midge</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Tiny</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Angler</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Ant</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Nettle</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Pet</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Decoy</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Rambler</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
  • Clown class
    • <i>Fenella</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Garnet</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Handy</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Hunter</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Drake</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Janus</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Clown</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Kestrel</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Ready</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Thrush</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Watchful</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Woodcock</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
  • Algerine class
    • Jaseur (1857)
    • Jasper (1857)
    • <i>Algerine</i> <span class="nowrap">(1857)</span>
    • <i>Lee</i> <span class="nowrap">(1857)</span>
    • <i>Leven</i> <span class="nowrap">(1857)</span>
    • <i>Slaney</i> <span class="nowrap">(1857)</span>
  • Britomart class
    • <i>Britomart</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Cockatrice</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Wizard</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Speedy</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Doterel</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Heron</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Pigeon</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Linnet</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Tyrian</i> <span class="nowrap">(1861)</span>
    • <i>Trinculo</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Cherub</i> <span class="nowrap">(1865)</span>
    • <i>Netley</i> <span class="nowrap">(1866)</span>
    • <i>Minstrel</i> <span class="nowrap">(1865)</span>
    • <i>Orwell</i> <span class="nowrap">(1866)</span>
    • <i>Cromer</i> <span class="nowrap">(1867)</span>
    • <i>Bruiser</i> <span class="nowrap">(1867)</span> (or Bruizer)
    • Bramble (cancelled)
    • Crown (cancelled)
    • Protector (cancelled)
    • Danube (cancelled)

Composite screw gunboats

The gunboats designed from 1870 onwards were of composite construction, i.e. they had an iron keel, stem and stern posts, and iron framing, with wooden planking retained over the iron frames.

  • Ariel class
    • <i>Coquette</i> <span class="nowrap">(1871)</span>
    • <i>Foam</i> <span class="nowrap">(1871)</span>
    • Decoy (1871)
    • <i>Merlin</i> <span class="nowrap">(1871)</span>
    • <i>Mosquito</i> <span class="nowrap">(1871)</span>
    • <i>Goshawk</i> <span class="nowrap">(1872)</span>
    • Swinger (1872)
    • <i>Ariel</i> <span class="nowrap">(1873)</span>
    • <i>Zephyr</i> <span class="nowrap">(1873)</span>
  • Forester class
    • <i>Cygnet</i> <span class="nowrap">(1874)</span>
    • <i>Express</i> <span class="nowrap">(1874)</span>
    • <i>Contest</i> <span class="nowrap">(1874)</span>
    • <i>Sheldrake</i> <span class="nowrap">(1875)</span>
    • <i>Mallard</i> <span class="nowrap">(1875)</span>
    • <i>Moorhen</i> <span class="nowrap">(1875)</span>
    • <i>Foxhound</i> <span class="nowrap">(1877)</span>
    • <i>Forward</i> <span class="nowrap">(1877)</span>
    • <i>Firm</i> <span class="nowrap">(1877)</span>
    • <i>Forester</i> <span class="nowrap">(1877)</span>
    • <i>Firebrand</i> <span class="nowrap">(1877)</span>
    • <i>Firefly</i> <span class="nowrap">(1877)</span>
  • Banterer class
    • <i>Redwing</i> <span class="nowrap">(1880)</span>
    • <i>Grappler</i> <span class="nowrap">(1880)</span>
    • <i>Wrangler</i> <span class="nowrap">(1880)</span>
    • Wasp (1880)
    • <i>Banterer</i> <span class="nowrap">(1880)</span>
    • <i>Espoir</i> <span class="nowrap">(1880)</span>
    • <i>Bullfrog</i> <span class="nowrap">(1880)</span>
    • <i>Cockchafer</i> <span class="nowrap">(1881)</span>
    • <i>Starling</i> <span class="nowrap">(1882)</span>
    • <i>Stork</i> <span class="nowrap">(1882)</span>
    • Raven (1882)
  • Albacore class
    • HMS <i>Albacore</i>
    • HMS <i>Mistletoe</i>
    • HMS <i>Watchful</i>
  • Bramble class
    • <i>Rattler</i> <span class="nowrap">(1886)</span>
    • <i>Wasp</i> <span class="nowrap">(1886)</span>
    • Lizard (1886)
    • <i>Bramble</i> <span class="nowrap">(1886)</span>
  • <i>Pygmy</i> class
Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS <i>Pheasant</i> Devonport Dockyard 10 April 1888 Sold to Cox for breaking at Falmouth on 15 May 1906
HMS <i>Partridge</i> Devonport Dockyard 10 May 1888 Sold in 1909 at Simonstown to Ward of Preston; arrived Preston for breaking on 6 May 1913
HMS <i>Peacock</i> Pembroke Dockyard 22 June 1888 Sold to Ellis, Chepstow for breaking on 15 May 1906
HMS <i>Pigmy</i> Sheerness Dockyard 27 July 1888 Sold to Cox for breaking at Falmouth on 4 April 1905
HMS <i>Pigeon</i> Pembroke Dockyard 5 September 1888 Sold to V Grech for commercial use on 15 May 1906
HMS <i>Plover</i> Pembroke Dockyard 18 October 1888 Boom defence vessel in 1904. Sold at Gibraltar on 27 April 1927

Armoured gunboats

The only ironclads of gunboat size were three largely experimental (and unsuccessful) vessels ordered in 1864. The first two were towed to Bermuda (being considered unsatisfactory to sail under their own power) where they served as harbour vessels. Vixen was the first twin-screw vessel built for the Royal Navy, and Waterwitch employed a form of water pump propulsion.

Iron coastal gunboats

  • <i>Staunch</i> class (1867)
Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS <i>Staunch</i> Charles Mitchell & Co, Walker 17 June 1867 Sold for use as a fuel barge in 1904
  • <i>Plucky</i> class (1870)
Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS <i>Plucky</i> Portsmouth Dockyard 13 July 1870 Renamed Banterer in June 1915, sold for commercial use in 1928 and finally broken up at Inverkeithing in 1969
  • Ant class - Gadfly, Pincher, Griper and Tickler are sometimes referred to as the Gadfly class.
    • <i>Blazer</i> <span class="nowrap">(1870)</span>
    • <i>Comet</i> <span class="nowrap">(1870)</span>
    • <i>Bustard</i> <span class="nowrap">(1871)</span>
    • <i>Kite</i> <span class="nowrap">(1871)</span>
    • <i>Scourge</i> <span class="nowrap">(1871)</span>
    • <i>Snake</i> <span class="nowrap">(1871)</span>
    • <i>Mastiff</i> <span class="nowrap">(1871)</span>
    • <i>Bloodhound</i> <span class="nowrap">(1871)</span>
    • <i>Arrow</i> <span class="nowrap">(1871)</span>
    • <i>Bonetta</i> <span class="nowrap">(1871)</span>
    • <i>Badger</i> <span class="nowrap">(1872)</span>
    • <i>Fidget</i> <span class="nowrap">(1872)</span>
    • <i>Bulldog</i> <span class="nowrap">(1872)</span>
    • <i>Pike</i> <span class="nowrap">(1872)</span>
    • <i>Pickle</i> <span class="nowrap">(1872)</span>
    • <i>Snap</i> <span class="nowrap">(1872)</span>
    • <i>Ant</i> <span class="nowrap">(1873)</span>
    • <i>Cuckoo</i> <span class="nowrap">(1873)</span>
    • <i>Hyaena</i> <span class="nowrap">(1873)</span>
    • <i>Weazel</i> <span class="nowrap">(1873)</span>
    • <i>Gadfly</i> <span class="nowrap">(1879)</span>
    • <i>Pincher</i> <span class="nowrap">(1879)</span>
    • <i>Griper</i> <span class="nowrap">(1879)</span>
    • Tickler (1879)
  • Medina class (or "River" class) (1876)
    • <i>Medina</i> <span class="nowrap">(1876)</span>
    • <i>Medway</i> <span class="nowrap">(1876)</span>
    • <i>Sabrina</i> <span class="nowrap">(1876)</span>
    • <i>Spey</i> <span class="nowrap">(1876)</span>
    • <i>Tay</i> <span class="nowrap">(1876)</span>
    • <i>Tees</i> <span class="nowrap">(1876)</span>
    • <i>Dee</i> <span class="nowrap">(1877)</span>
    • <i>Don</i> <span class="nowrap">(1877)</span>
    • <i>Esk</i> <span class="nowrap">(1877)</span>
    • <i>Slaney</i> <span class="nowrap">(1877)</span>
    • Trent (1877)
    • <i>Tweed</i> <span class="nowrap">(1877)</span>

Steel coastal gunboats

  • <i>Bouncer</i> class (1881)
Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS <i>Bouncer</i> Pembroke Dockyard 15 March 1881 Ordered to be converted to a tank vessel in October 1904, but instead sold at Sheerness on 4 April 1905
HMS <i>Insolent</i> Pembroke Dockyard 15 March 1881 Gate vessel in January 1918. Foundered in Portsmouth Harbour on 1 July 1922; the wreck was sold to J H Pounds, Portsmouth, on 18 June 1925
  • <i>Handy</i> class (1882)
Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS <i>Handy</i> Charles Mitchell and Company, Walker 30 December 1882 Renamed Excellent in May 1891 as a training ship, then Calcutta on 1 November 1916, and finally Snapper in August 1917. Sold on 27 April 1924. She was sold again to Pounds shipbreakers in the 1970s but not broken up. She was finally scrapped in 2008.[1]
  • <i>Drudge</i> class (1882)
Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS <i>Drudge</i> Armstrong Whitworth 15 June 1887 Built for the Ordnance Department and transferred to the Royal Navy in 1901. Renamed Excellent on 21 November 1916 and Dryad on 26 January 1919. Renamed back to Drudge later in 1919 and sold on 27 March 1920

Torpedo ram

  • Polyphemus class
    • Polyphemus (1881)
    • Hull 2 (cancelled 10 November 1882 before being named)
    • Adventure (cancelled 12 August 1885)

Torpedo gunboats

Steel gunboats

Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS <i>Dwarf</i> London & Glasgow, Govan 15 November 1898 Sold to Ward, Pembroke on 13 July 1926
HMS <i>Bramble</i> Potter, Liverpool 26 November 1898 Sold at Bombay on 26 January 1920
HMS <i>Britomart</i> Potter, Liverpool 28 March 1899 Sold at Bombay on 10 June 1920 and renamed Sakuntala
HMS Thistle London & Glasgow, Govan 22 June 1899 Sold to Ward, Pembroke on 13 July 1926

River gunboats

Insect-class (1915) The Insect-class gunboats were a class of small, but well-armed Royal Navy ships designed for use in shallow rivers or inshore. Several of them took also part in World War II.


Steam gunvessels

Wooden paddle gunvessels

  • <i>Pluto</i> class (1831) - steam vessel rated from 1837 as a first-class steam gunvessel
Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS <i>Pluto</i> Woolwich Dockyard 28 April 1831 Breaking completed at Sheerness on 26 March 1861
  • <i>Firebrand</i> class (1831) - steam vessels reclassified in 1844 as first-class steam gunvessels
Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS Firebrand Curling, Young & Company, Limehouse 11 July 1831 Re-engined in 1833 and renamed Black Eagle on 5 February 1842, lengthened in 1843 and re-rated as a paddle yacht, completing service as Admiralty yacht until 1857. Broken up at Portsmouth in March 1876
HMS <i>Flamer</i> Fletcher & Fearnall, Limehouse 11 August 1831 Refitted for the Holyhead Station in 1848-49. Lost on the coast of West Africa off Monrovia on 22 November 1850
  • <i>Firefly</i> class (1832) - steam vessels reclassified in 1844 as first-class steam gunvessels
Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS <i>Firefly</i> Woolwich Dockyard 29 September 1832 Re-engined in 1844 and became a survey ship. Broken up at Malta in 1866
HMS <i>Spitfire</i> Woolwich Dockyard 26 March 1834 Wrecked whilst working as a troop ship on Half Moon Cay lighthouse reef, Belize in 1842
  • <i>Tartarus</i> class (1834) - steam vessels reclassified in 1844 as first-class steam gunvessels
Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS Tartarus Pembroke Dockyard 23 June 1834 Re-engined in 1837-38. Breaking completed at Malta on 6 November 1860
HMS <i>Blazer</i> Chatham Dockyard 5.1834 Became a survey ship in January 1843. Breaking up completed at Portsmouth in August 1853
  • <i>Lizard</i> class (1840) - steam vessels reclassified in 1844 as second class steam gunvessels
Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS <i>Lizard</i> Woolwich Dockyard 7 January 1840 Initially fitted for surveying. Lost in collision with the French armed steamer Veloce between Gibraltar and Cadiz on 26 July 1843
HMS <i>Locust</i> Woolwich Dockyard 18 April 1840 Became a tug in 1869. Sold at Sheerness in 1895
  • <i>Porcupine</i> class (1844) - steam vessel reclassified in 1844 as a first-class steam gunvessel
Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS Porcupine Deptford Dockyard 17 June 1844 Became a survey ship in 1862. Sold in 1883
  • <i>Spitfire</i> class (1845) - steam vessel reclassified in 1844 as a first-class steam gunvessel
Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS <i>Spitfire</i> Deptford Dockyard 26 March 1845 Became a survey ship in 1851 and a tug in 1861. Broken up at Bermuda in 1888

Iron paddle gunvessels

Name Builder Launched Fate
<i>Torch</i> Ditchburn & Mare, Leamouth 25 February 1845 Sold at Sydney on 15 May 1856
<i>Harpy</i> Ditchburn & Mare, Leamouth 4 March 1845 Transferred to the War Office as a target on 26 October 1892 and sold as a wreck in 1909
Name Builder Launched Fate
<i>Myrmidon</i> Ditchburn & Mare, Leamouth February 1845 Sold at Fernando Po on 1 December 1858
  • Grappler class (1845)
Name Builder Launched Fate
<i>Grappler</i> William Fairbairn & Company, Millwall 30 December 1845 Sold to W P Beach for breaking on 2 February 1850
  • <i>Recruit</i> class (1850)
Name Builder Launched Fate
<i>Recruit</i> J Scott Russell & Robinson, Millwall 1850 Ex-Prussian Salamander, commissioned into the Royal Navy on 22 December 1854. Sold to E Bates on 23 September 1869
<i>Weser</i> J Scott Russell & Robinson, Millwall 1850 Ex-Prussian Nix, commissioned into the Royal Navy on 22 December 1854. Harbour service in 1866. Sold at Malta on 29 October 1873

NB. A third vessel of the class was retained by Prussia.

Wooden screw gunvessels

This section includes two early iron-hulled screw gunvessels ordered in May 1845, which in other respects were half-sisters to two wooden-hulled gunvessels ordered at the same time. The four vessels comprised the first-class gunvessels Rifleman (wooden hulled) and Sharpshooter (iron hulled), and the second-class gunvessels Teazer (wooden hulled) and Minx (iron hulled). Further vessels ordered later to the same design were either cancelled or built to very different concepts. Rifleman and Sharpshooter were re-classed as sloops in 1854.

  • Rifleman class (wooden half-sisters to iron-hulled Sharpshooter)
    • <i>Rifleman</i> <span class="nowrap">(1845)</span>
    • Sepoy (cancelled 1849)
    • Cossack (cancelled 1849)
  • Sharpshooter class (iron half-sister to wooden Rifleman)
    • HMS <i>Sharpshooter</i>
  • Teazer class (wooden-hulled half-sisters to iron-hulled Minx)
    • <i>Teazer</i> <span class="nowrap">(1846)</span>
    • Boxer (cancelled 1849)
    • Biter (cancelled 1849)
  • Minx class (iron half-sister to wooden Teazer)
    • <i>Minx</i> <span class="nowrap">(1846)</span>
  • Swallow class - 4 first-class gunvessels were ordered in 1852-53; while still building, they were re-rated as third-class sloops in 1854 and will be found under the list of corvette and sloop classes of the Royal Navy.
  • Arrow class - originally rated as "despatch vessels", these six ships were re-classed as second-class gunvessels in 1856.
    • <i>Arrow</i> <span class="nowrap">(1854)</span>
    • Beagle (1854)
    • <i>Lynx</i> <span class="nowrap">(1854)</span>
    • <i>Snake</i> <span class="nowrap">(1854)</span>
    • <i>Viper</i> <span class="nowrap">(1854)</span>
    • <i>Wrangler</i> <span class="nowrap">(1854)</span>
  • Vigilant class
    • <i>Coquette</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Wanderer</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Alacrity</i> <span class="nowrap">(1855)</span>
    • <i>Vigilant</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Lapwing</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • Ringdove (1856)
    • Surprise (1856)
    • <i>Renard</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Foxhound</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • Mohawk (1856)
    • Sparrowhawk (1856)
    • <i>Osprey</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Cormorant</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
    • <i>Assurance</i> <span class="nowrap">(1856)</span>
  • Intrepid class
  • Philomel (or Ranger) class
    • <i>Ranger</i> <span class="nowrap">(1859)</span>
    • <i>Espoir</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Landrail</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • Nimble (1860)
    • <i>Speedwell</i> <span class="nowrap">(1861)</span>
    • Pandora (1861)
    • <i>Lee</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Dart</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Snipe</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Sparrow</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Torch</i> <span class="nowrap">(1859)</span>
    • <i>Plover</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Penguin</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Steady</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Cygnet</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Griffon</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • Mullett (1860)
    • <i>Philomel</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • Newport (1867)
    • Alban (cancelled)
    • <i>Jaseur</i> <span class="nowrap">(1862)</span>
    • Humber (cancelled)
    • Undine (cancelled)
    • Rye (cancelled)
    • Portia (cancelled)
    • Discovery (cancelled)
  • Cormorant (or Eclipse) class (1860)
    • <i>Cormorant</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Racehorse</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Serpent</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • <i>Star</i> <span class="nowrap">(1860)</span>
    • Eclipse (1860)
    • <i>Lily</i> <span class="nowrap">(1861)</span>
    • <i>Sylvia</i> <span class="nowrap">(1866)</span>
    • <i>Nassau</i> <span class="nowrap">(1866)</span>
    • Myrmidon (1867)
    • Tartarus (cancelled 1864)
    • Pegasus (cancelled 1863)
    • Albatross (cancelled 1863)
    • Guernsey (cancelled 1863)
  • Plover class (1867)
    • <i>Plover</i> <span class="nowrap">(1867)</span>
    • <i>Ringdove</i> <span class="nowrap">(1867)</span>
    • <i>Philomel</i> <span class="nowrap">(1867)</span>
    • <i>Lapwing</i> <span class="nowrap">(1867)</span>
    • <i>Magpie</i> <span class="nowrap">(1868)</span>
    • <i>Bullfinch</i> <span class="nowrap">(1868)</span>
    • <i>Seagull</i> <span class="nowrap">(1868)</span>
    • <i>Curlew</i> <span class="nowrap">(1868)</span>
    • <i>Swallow</i> <span class="nowrap">(1868)</span>
    • <i>Bittern</i> <span class="nowrap">(1869)</span>
    • <i>Vulture</i> <span class="nowrap">(1869)</span>
    • <i>Woodlark</i> <span class="nowrap">(1871)</span>

Composite screw gunvessels

The gunvessels designed from 1867 onwards were of composite construction, i.e. they had an iron keel, stem and stern posts, and iron framing, with wooden planking retained over the iron frames.

  • Beacon class (1867)
    • <i>Beacon</i> <span class="nowrap">(1867)</span>
    • <i>Avon</i> <span class="nowrap">(1867)</span>
    • <i>Gnat</i> <span class="nowrap">(1867)</span>
    • <i>Cracker</i> <span class="nowrap">(1867)</span>
    • <i>Dwarf</i> <span class="nowrap">(1867)</span>
    • <i>Flirt</i> <span class="nowrap">(1867)</span>
    • <i>Fly</i> <span class="nowrap">(1867)</span>
    • <i>Elk</i> <span class="nowrap">(1868)</span>
    • <i>Boxer</i> <span class="nowrap">(1868)</span>
    • <i>Thistle</i> <span class="nowrap">(1868)</span>
    • <i>Hornet</i> <span class="nowrap">(1868)</span>
    • <i>Rocket</i> <span class="nowrap">(1868)</span>
    • <i>Lynx</i> <span class="nowrap">(1868)</span>
    • <i>Teazer</i> <span class="nowrap">(1868)</span>
    • <i>Midge</i> <span class="nowrap">(1868)</span>
    • <i>Pert</i> <span class="nowrap">(1868)</span>
    • <i>Hart</i> <span class="nowrap">(1868)</span>
    • <i>Growler</i> <span class="nowrap">(1868)</span>
  • Frolic class (1872)
    • <i>Frolic</i> <span class="nowrap">(1872)</span>
    • <i>Kestrel</i> <span class="nowrap">(1872)</span>
    • <i>Ready</i> <span class="nowrap">(1872)</span>
    • <i>Rifleman</i> <span class="nowrap">(1872)</span>
  • Arab class (1874)
  • Condor class
    • <i>Flamingo</i> <span class="nowrap">(1876)</span>
    • <i>Griffon</i> <span class="nowrap">(1876)</span>
    • Condor (1876)
    • <i>Falcon</i> <span class="nowrap">(1877)</span>
  • <i>Linnet</i> class (1879)
Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS <i>Swift</i> Thames Ironworks & Shipbuilding Company, Leamouth, London 29 November 1879 Sold at Hong Kong in 1920 for mercantile use, renamed Hoi Ching
HMS <i>Linnet</i> Thames Ironworks & Shipbuilding Company, Leamouth, London 30 January 1880 Sold as a salvage vessel on 27 April 1904
  • Algerine class
    • Rambler (1880)
    • <i>Ranger</i> <span class="nowrap">(1880)</span>
    • <i>Algerine</i> <span class="nowrap">(1880)</span>
  • <i>Dolphin</i> class (1882)
Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS Dolphin William Raylton Dixon, Middlesbrough 9 December 1882 Sailing training ship in 1899. Hulked as accommodation for submarines in 1907. Submarine depot ship in 1912. Sold on 13 March 1925, but foundered under tow on 19 April 1925, then raised and beached; and used as an accommodation school ship until broken up in 1977 at Bo'ness
HMS <i>Wanderer</i> William Raylton Dixon, Middlesbrough 8 February 1883 Sailing training ship (brig-rigged) in 1894. Sold to Ward, Preston for breaking in February 1907

Like the preceding Arab to Dolphin Classes, these were designed by Nathaniel Barnaby; they were re-classed as screw sloops on 26 November 1884.

Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS Mariner Devonport Dockyard 23 June 1884 Boom defence 1903; salvage vessel 1917,laid up 1922, then sold to Hughes Bolckow, Blyth on 19 February 1929 for breaking up.
HMS Reindeer Devonport Dockyard 14 November 1883 Boom defence 1904; salvage vessel 1917, renamed Reindeer I. Sold as salvage ship 12 July 1924; abandoned at sea March 1932.
HMS Racer Devonport Dockyard 6 August 1884 Tender to Britannia at Dartmouth 1896; to Portsmouth February 1903. Salvage vessel June 1917. Sold to Hughes Bolckow, Blyth on 6 November 1928 for breaking up.
HMS Icarus Devonport Dockyard 27 July 1885 Sold 12 April 1904.
HMS <i>Acorn</i> Milford Haven Shipbuilding Company 6 September 1884 Sold 15 December 1899 for breaking, which took place at Milford Haven in 1904.
HMS Melita Malta Dockyard 20 March 1888 Boom defence May 1905; salvage vessel December 1915, renamed Ringdove; sold to Falmouth Docks Board on 9 July 1920.

Steel torpedo-and-gunvessels

  • <i>Curlew</i> class (1885)
Name Builder Launched Fate
HMS <i>Curlew</i> Devonport Dockyard 23 October 1885 Sold for breaking on 10 July 1906
HMS <i>Landrail</i> Devonport Dockyard 19 January 1886 Sunk as target in Lyme Bay on 4 October 1906

References

  • Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8.
  • Winfield, R.; Lyon, D. (2004). The Sail and Steam Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815–1889. London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-032-6.
  1. ^ Jordan, John, ed. (2009), "Warship notes", Warship 2009, Anova Books, p. 170, ISBN 978-1-84486-089-0
This page was last edited on 22 January 2021, at 14:27
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